Envira-North Systems has turned to the sea for ideas on how to improve the flow of air in warehouses and DCs. The Canadian manufacturer of industrial fans and ventilation systems will soon release a fan design based on the flippers of humpback whales.
Envira-North has teamed up with WhalePower, a company founded by a marine scientist to apply whales' efficient body design to industrial products. The blades of the new fans, which are not yet in commercial production, feature bumps and valleys that mimic those found along the leading edge of humpback whale flippers. The unusual design—recently featured on The Discovery Channel and in National Geographic magazine—speeds the flow of air over the blades, reducing the amount of energy needed to run the fans, producing better ventilation, and generating less noise.